Looking after your leather furniture

Leather has long been a popular material for furniture because it is durable, keeping its good looks for years and therefore a good investment. Here are some things you can do to help keep your leather sofas and chairs looking great for years to come – and things you should avoid.

 

Keep out of the sun

Modern leather dyes are very stable but continuous exposure to the sun will fade the colour over time. Some colours, such as red, with fade more than others. White or cream sofas might take on a slight yellow cast over the years. Direct sunlight will also cause the leather to dry out and eventually crack.

 

Regular dusting

Usually a quick wipe over with a clean, dry or very slightly damp cloth will keep dust and dirt under control and keep a slight sheen on the leather. Neglect will make the surface take on a dull, grimy appearance.

 

Vacuum regularly

Grit and abrasive substances like sand will eventually cut into the surface of the leather. By vacuuming regularly, you can keep this under control.

 

Wipe up spills

Blot up spills with kitchen paper or a sponge if there is a major incident. Take care to dry under the cushions (if they are loose) and into any crevices, to avoid sticky patches later.

 

Use leather conditioners

Leather cleaning and conditioning products are available in many retail stores. Their manufacturers claim that regular application (every 6-12 months) will keep the leather supple and maintain a better appearance.

 

Don’t over-wet

In the same way as you would mop up a spill quickly, it is best not to allow leather to become too wet during your routine cleaning. The leather will absorb the moisture, causing damage.

 

Don’t use harsh cleaning agents

It shouldn’t be necessary to use detergents or cleaners on your leather sofa and doing so will strip the natural moisturisers from the leather. Bleach and ammonia based products are particularly harmful.

 

Protect leather furniture from pets

Most leather furniture is perfectly safe from the attention of your puppy or kitten but if they do decide to scratch or chew, we can’t guarantee that they won’t cause damage. Rather than banish your pet from the sofa, you can try using a fabric throw to cover the seating until they are trained to sit quietly. Then both pet and sofa can grow old gracefully together.

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